You’re looking at the clock intensely. He’s five minutes late. You’re debating whether you should text him or not. Or maybe you can go to his workplace just to make sure? You’re wondering if he actually loves you or if you matter to him. Anger is rising up within you and fear. It’s happening again. He arrives. You lashed out at him.
This is what an anxiety disorder looks like.
Research suggests that up to 31.1% of US adults have experienced an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. This can take many different forms, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks and phobias. But when it comes to relationships and intimate relationships specifically, there’s evidence that those who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety may be putting their romantic lives at risk as well.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion. It’s what we feel when we’re stressed or worried about something. But for some people, anxiety can be overwhelming and even disabling.
When anxiety becomes severe enough that it interferes with your life, it’s called an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition in which you have an excessive or unreasonable fear of certain situations or objects. These fears are often associated with panic attacks, which can cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness. It can make you feel like you’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight mode—like everything around you is dangerous and out to get you (even though it usually isn’t). If this happens often enough, it can damage your relationships with friends, family members, and even your romantic partner.
Causes of Anxiety
There are many different causes of anxiety. These include:
- Recent death or change in family structure (parent death/divorce)
- Financial hardships
- Traumatic experiences (war, abuse, accidents)
- Excessive consumption of food and beverages that cause you to feel anxious (such as caffeine)
- Side effects of medications like pain killers (e.g., opioids), alcohol or drugs
Anxiety and Intimate Relationships
When you’re feeling anxious, having a good relationship with your partner can be hard. You may respond in one of two ways: become too dependent on them or avoid being around them altogether. This is because anxiety can cause a person to be more withdrawn, which leads to an intimacy problem. It can also cause a person to be more critical, leading to an argumentative relationship. These kinds of arguments are never productive because they only lead to frustration and stress for both parties involved in the relationship.
3 Signs Revealing That Anxiety Is Negatively Impacting The Health Of Your Intimate Relationship
When a person has a lot of anxiety, they can get nervous when they have to do things alone or face certain situations without someone else’s help. They might also question every decision they make and second-guess themselves. It can cause them to want to be around people all the time and need constant reassurance from their friends, family members, or relationship partners. This can be hard for other people because they don’t get space or privacy.
People with anxiety disorders can feel alone even when friends and loved ones surround them. They avoid relationships because they’re scared of being disappointed by or frustrated with their friends and loved ones. They think they won’t get hurt if they keep everyone at a distance. It can make it challenging to maintain relationships and form new ones.
Lack of Intimacy
If your anxiety is negatively impacting the health of your intimate relationship, one sign will be a lack of intimacy. You may have trouble getting close to people or being intimate with them.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. It could be that you’re not comfortable with physical touch because of past trauma or abuse. Or maybe you feel like others can’t understand what you’re going through, so they won’t even try to help or offer support in this area.
Anxiety tends to be more extreme for some people than others. For some, it just means a general sense of nervousness that comes and goes on its own. But for others, it leads to more debilitating symptoms that can seriously affect their daily lives and most intimate relationships. If anxiety is negatively affecting your relationships, don’t be afraid to seek professional help and take the proper steps to get better. Always remember: You are not alone.